The Year of Living Perilously

KTM Durbar square before the quake

If there had been any doubt, the past year should have cleared it: our biggest disaster is our leadership. What nature has thrown at us, really, pales in comparison.

It was a year to the hour today that the biggest natural calamity in living memory — the earthquake  — struck Nepal. Far from alleviating the suffering of the victims, our leaders have compounded them. But, if you know Nepal, neglect of the victims of anything and neglect of the marginalised by them — political and other leaders, those in the government and running the bureaucracy — isn’t anything new. But they out-did themselves this past year.

Our biggest disaster is our leadership. #Nepal #NepalEarthquake Click To Tweet

Now we know: our leadership is completely morally bankrupt.

When conversations about what has to happen or what has to change — to make social progress for instance — come up, friends and others in the country invariably give the following response: “Nepal yestai ho!” (“This is Nepal (we can’t do it).”)

And I continue to disagree. We fail so miserably as a country NOT because we are actually UNABLE to do what needs to be done. But because we WON’T!

Our leadership is completely morally bankrupt. #Nepal #NepalEarthquake Click To Tweet

What follows are description of — and timeline for — some of the major events and links to articles, reports, op-eds, press releases etc. about those events from the past year, including links to my own blog posts — which, incidentally, are labeled “Personal Blog Post” — detailing what our leadership haven’t done, what our leadership WON’T do.

(For facts and figures associated with the quake, see Nepal Earthquake: Himalayan Megaquake Video.)

2015

Noon, April 25, earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale strikes.

April 27-29 — Links to Reliefweb (UN updates).

April 26 — RepublicaGovt appeals for contributions to PM Disaster Relief Fund

(No Date) — Prime Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund: About Prime Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund Bank account details.

April 27 — Personal Blog: Nepal Earthquake: a Quick Update.

What I was learning about the quake from afar. At the time, I was in Washington DC, on a longish visit.

April 27 — The GuardianNepal earthquake death toll expected to rise sharply. Live blog of the events of the day.

April 28 — Wall Street JournalUnicef: Nepal Quake Affected 2.8 Million Children. (video)

April 28 — The GuardianAid reaches Nepal’s hardest hit – but millions more wait for help.

April 28 — BBCNepal earthquake: Eight million people affected, UN says

April 28 — Bloomberg: Nobody Knows Just How Bad Things Are in Nepal

April 29 — Personal Blog Post: Nepal Earthquake: Kathmandulivinglabs org tool.

A blog post about the incredibly useful online tool created by Nepalese IT specialists.

April 29A World At SchoolNepal earthquake: ‘5000 schools destroyed and thousands more damaged’.

“More than 16,000 public and private schools – about half of the country’s total – have been damaged, according to UN OCHA (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) Asia and the Pacific.”

April 29 — USAIDNepal Earthquake – Fact Sheet #4

April 29 — The GuardianNepal earthquake: tensions rise over slow pace of aid.

Live blog of the events of the day.

April 30 — The ConversationNepal’s recovery: can international aid community break entrenched patterns?

April 30 — The Washington Post: How not to rebuild Nepal.

Lessons from Haiti five years after its earthquake

May 1 — TelegraphNepal aid donors ‘may halt fundraising’ amid fears government will seize donations

Announcement by Nepal government that all donations to help earthquake victims must be made to its prime minister’s fund raises fears millions of pounds could be allocated for political considerations

May 3 — IndependentNepal earthquake: Many survivors receiving no help despite relief effort.

Documents seen by The Independent on Sunday reveal severe tensions over demands that the Prime Minister’s office control the operation and its funding.

May 5The GuardianIn Nepal, $1bn impact of strikes over constitution ‘worse than earthquakes’

Written by my mate Pete Patisson.

May 8 — Personal Blog Post: Projects: Jayjeev Reports.

A reproduction of a report Jayjeev, Executive Director of COMMITTED produced upon returning from a visit to Thangpalkot.

 

The Second Earthquake Strikes on May 12.

May 12 — The GuardianNepal earthquake: US helicopter reported missing as dozens reported dead – live.

Live updates of events surrounding the earthquake that day.

May 12BuzzfeedA New Generation Takes The Lead In Nepal’s Disaster Relief

With the government slow to act, hundreds of young professionals are taking it on themselves to build immediate shelters for those who have lost homes.

May 13 — Personal Blog Post: Nepal Earthquake: Mounting Loss.

May 13The New York TimesNepal School System Left Shattered in Aftermath of Quake

“Schools in Nepal were woefully inadequate even before the quake, and the country’s literacy rate of about 66 percent is among the lowest in Asia. Teachers often fail to show up for school, and families often decide that schooling is not worth the loss of labor around the farm, especially since many of the farms in Nepal are on steep slopes that require constant tending.

“Nepal’s dropout rate is high. About 1.2 million children between the ages of 5 and 16 were dropping out or never attended school even before the quake, according to Unicef.”

May 13 — Al JazeeraThe disaster in Nepal after the earthquake

Relations between the international community and the Nepali government have rarely been worse than they are now.

May 15 — Personal Blog Post: “Help I need somebody [to] help!”

About how local non-profits/NGOs need to be supported.

May 16BuzzfeedThe Ghosts of Laprak

How life in a small mountainous village was turned upside down by Nepal’s deadly earthquake — loved ones lost, homes destroyed. BuzzFeed News’ Anup Kaphle brings the first in-depth report from Laprak, near the quake’s epicenter.

May 18 / Nov 28 — (May 18) Trade ArabiaNMC airlifts medical aid to Nepal quake victims

Instead of the medicine being distributed, it sits at Grande Hospital and, six month later, is disbursed as donation by Mahato and Grande Hospital.

(Nov 28) SoutheastAsia.com.au: Medicines handed over by Mahato were sent by NMC for quake victims, 6 months ago

May (no date) — IDSNWaiting for “Justice in Response”

Report of Initial Findings from Immediate Needs Assessment and Monitoring Responses towards Affected Dalit Communities in Nepal Earthquake 2015.

(Report: Dalits short-changed in aid delivery in Nepal. Summary of the findings.)

(ISDN: Equality in Aid. “An important tool for the work in relation to humanitarian aid in Nepal and other caste-affected countries to ensure that all appropriate measures are taken to combat caste discrimination in aid delivery and disaster risk reduction.”)

May 21 — SouthEastAsia.com.auWFP aid rice provided to Nepal earthquake survivors not fit for even cattle

May 23The GuardianQatar refuses to let Nepalese workers return to attend funerals after quake

Nepalese minister says Fifa must pressure the Gulf state for better treatment of 1.5 million south Asian migrants

May 24 — Personal Blog Post: Project Update: Moving Along.

What COMMITTED has been doing with relief work.

May 25 — Al JazeeraOne month on, red tape hampers Nepal aid

Giving reconstruction funds directly to Nepal quake survivors could cut out corruption and administrative waste.

May 25 — Social Blog for Dalit Rights in NepalRelief materials for Dalit bastards, what for?!

This blog is in Nepali and contains numerous testimonies from Dalits discriminated when it came to provision of relief materials.

May 30 — Personal Blog Post: Project Update: Report From Thangpalkot.

Reproduction of a report filed by our friends, the wife-husband duo of Manaslu and Chris following their visit to the village.

May 31 — Hamro Sandheshअर्थमन्त्री महतले यसरी कुम्ल्याए सरकारी राहत कोषको करोडौ रकम.

Article purports to be about the embezzlement of Earthquake relief funds by the Finance Minister himself.

June 1 The Kathmandu PostDeal with govt must for I/NGOs’ involvement

June 1 — Amnesty InternationalNepal: End discrimination in earthquake relief effort

June 2 — Personal Blog Post: Social Justice: Want Compassion? Show Compassion!

A post requesting fellow Nepalese to extend compassion and humanity to all Nepalese, regardless of caste, at this time of great need following some news reports that the Dalits, the untouchables, were being discriminated — they weren’t provided any relief materials.

June 5 — mikeldunham.blogs.com: POLITICS BE DAMNED: The Post-Earthquake Unreliability of Nepal’s Government

Open letter from Geneva, written by Kedar Neupane, sent five days ago to the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers requesting the body that an independent body be entrusted with reconstruction responsibilities.

 

On June 8 the four largest political parties announce they have reached a deal to “fast-track” the process of promulgation of the constitution while the plight of the earthquake victims continue to be featured in the media.

June 8 — TimeWhy Women Should Lead Nepal’s Recovery

Women have lost the most—and they have the most to lose

June 9 — SoutheastAsia.com.auWorst fears come true: Nepal earthquake victims end up in Indian brothels

June 9 — The RecordCan we stop Nepal from becoming Haiti?

There are many things the government can do to improve relief efforts, but issuing directives on aid activities is not one of them

June 9 — The Kathmandu PostRemembering to forget

A state which is unable to utilise information long at its disposal cannot be expected to erect a reliable data structure and deliver relief and reconstruction services based on such a database.

(Instead of using the political organizational structure and data at its disposal for the people’s benefit — relief and rehabilitation — they used it against the people!)

June 13 — The Wire: Nepal’s Slippery Fast-Track.

“On June 8, Nepal’s four largest political parties surprised everyone by announcing that they’d reached a deal on the constitution, a deal that had eluded them long after May 2012, when the first Constituent Assembly failed.

“This announcement came in a country brutalised by twin earthquakes on April 25 and May 17 and ongoing aftershocks, landslides and floods.”

June 16Disaster Accountability ProjectTHE FIRST MONTH: EXAMINING THE HUMANITARIAN RELIEF RESPONSE TO THE 2015 NEPAL EARTHQUAKES.

And it’s not good.

COMMITTED participated in the survey and answered all the questions. If interested, you can find COMMITTED’s responses as well. You can find the executive summary here: REPORT: A CRITICAL LOOK AT DONATION TRANSPARENCY & EFFECTIVENESS, AFTER THE NEPAL EARTHQUAKE.

June 16 — RepublicaCorrugated zinc sheets “too little, too late” for quake victims

June 18 — Kathmandu PostFissures feature

The quake has made the political and social inequality existing in Nepal even more prominent

June 19 — AID.WORKSWhat Happened to the Aid? Nepal Earthquake Response Echoes Haiti

June 19 — SoutheastAsia.com.au17 human traffickers sold over 500 Nepalese boys & girls in India since earthquake

June 20 — Government of Nepal National Planning CommissionNepal Earthquake 2015: Post Disaster Needs Assessment – Executive Summary.

Click here for the full report.

 

On June 22 the government declares ‘relief phase’ of disaster over.

On June 25 International Donors’ Conference held in Kathmandu.

The Government decides to entrust post-earthquake reconstruction to a committee through an ordinance.

June 25 — Government of Nepal Ministry of Foreign Affairs: International Conference on Nepal’s Reconstruction.

Page about the conference with links to details about the proceedings etc.

June 25 The Kathmandu PostProtestors held from outside donor conference venue

June 25 — The GuardianNepal donors pledge $3bn for rebuilding in aftermath of earthquakes.

India, China and Asian Development Bank lead donor list as prime minister counters sceptics with vow that corruption will not be tolerated.

June 25 — Wall Street JournalNepal Earthquake: Donors Pledge Billions in Aid for Reconstruction

June 25 — New York TimesForeign Donors Pledge $3 Billion to Help Rebuild Quake-Ravaged Nepal

June 25 — Al JazeeraDo they have what it takes to rebuild Nepal?

Nepal’s donors must help to pay for the recovery without inadvertently bankrolling the country’s structural problems.

June 25 — Republica: $4.4 billion announced to rebuild Nepal

July 2 — SouthEastAsia.com.auStop accusing or your food will go to Iraq and Syria, top UN official warns Nepal

(Follow-up to May 21 article.)

July 2 — Al JazeeraThe deceptions of disaster relief in Nepal

The aid-industrial complex is in dire need of overhaul

July 2 — The Kathmandu PostThe country is yours

The quake has provided us with a chance to finally right the years of discrimination faced by Tamangs.

“I probably should stop here given the sheer ignorance of our government official, who, as a Kathmandu native, would have seen Tamangs and their situation throughout his life. But that a person in such a position of power and responsibility can be completely blind to the structural inequities that have played such a major role in the continued backwardness of Tamangs says a lot about our state and its functionaries.”

 

July 7th, CA adopts the draft constitution, and is released on the 17th for public consultation.

No dateChange.org PetitionWe demand equal rights for women in Nepal’s constitution

July 7 — Constitution Net: Preliminary Draft of the Constitution of Nepal; Constitution.org: Public Consultation on Draft Constitution Timeline

July 7 — Republica: APF gets discretionary power to open fire.

In preparation for the promulgation of the constitution, anticipating opposition, the government gives wide ranging power to the Armed Police Force (APF).

“Under chapter-8 of the new APF Regulation, the roles, duties and rights of APF has been described thus: ‘APF personnel can use optimum force to remove obstructions while carrying out their duties.’ The provision also states that one cannot file any complaints against APF personnel if anyone dies or is injured in the course of such action.”

July 8 — Personal Blog Post: Bound to Kafala.

Compassionate leave for many of the hundreds of thousands of Nepalese in Qatar could mean so much to a population otherwise so subjugated.

July 8 — Al JazeeraNepal’s constitutional jeopardy

The draft constitution is designed to preserve the power and interests of those who are already on top.

‘Tragically, the country’s political elite – which has cynically misruled the country for decades – is now attempting to ram through an illiberal draft in a “super-fast-track” process, which will reverse many of the rights that Nepali people have gained in recent years. To pull this off, the leaders are taking advantage of the earthquake’s aftermath, when many people are less able or willing to object. The political parties’ new-found sense of purpose is grounded in their desire to share access to the billions of dollars of reconstruction aid the country has been promised.’

When I shared this article on Facebook, I called out our leaders for what they were: insidious.

July 20 — The Himalayan: ICJ concerned about draft constitution.

“The International Commission of Jurists has raised a number of concerns about Nepal’s draft constitution in a letter to Nepal’s Constituent Assembly, released on July 17.”

July 22 — Amnesty International: NEPAL: EXTEND TIME FOR PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON NEW CONSTITUTION REPEAL REGRESSIVE ASPECTS OF DRAFT

July 22 — Global Times: Public consultation on draft constitution in Nepal gets overwhelming participation.

A two-day national campaign to collect public feedback on a preliminary draft of constitution has completed across Nepal amid protest from some opposition parties.

July 25The GDELT ProjectIRIN News: The Nepal Earthquake at Three Months: Media Fatigue and Bias

July 27 — Republica: Waiting for God

“Apparently Nepali Congress and CPN-UML are still divided over who should head it [the National Reconstruction Authority]. But this is a poor excuse. The post of its CEO, the prime minister had assured us, would be settled on the basis of merit.”

July 30 — SoutheastAsia.com.au: Gang busted last week already trafficked 250 Nepalese women to Gulf

 

Early August Anti-constitution protests erupt in Kathmandu as well as elsewhere. Madhesis in the southern plains begin a sustained and long-lasting agitation.

Aug. 4The Kathmandu PostHouse seeks govt reply on police suppression of Dalit protest.

“The Legislature-Parliament has directed the government to come up with reply on the police atrocities during a protest staged by Dalit lawmakers at Bijuli Bazaar, Kathmandu.”

“Around two dozen activists and Dalit leaders were injured in a clash during a demonstration at Bijulibazaar, Kathmandu. They were demanding Dalit friendly provisions in the new constitution.”

Aug. 4 — The GuardianWant your aid donation to Nepal to go further? Cut out the middlemen

Big agencies often incur overheads by subcontracting relief work to groups with local knowledge. Donors would be better off supporting local efforts directly

Aug. 9The Kathmandu PostThe Dalit march.

Nepal cannot afford to ignore the demands of the Dalits in the forthcoming constitution.

 

On Aug. 13, the government finally appoints Govind Raj Pokhrel as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA).

Aug. 13 — Nepali Times: Reconstruction authority

“The government has finally appointed the Chief of the National Reconstruction Authority, raising hopes for the start of post-earthquake reconstruction projects.

Aug. 14 — Nepali Times (Editorial): The authority to rebuild

“Do we have the political will to save time and money to fuse the long-pending Disaster Management Authority with the Reconstruction Authority?”

Aug. 18Scroll.inNepal’s revolution to demolish caste structures is dead

The new constitution reverts power into the hands of upper caste men, leaving behind the marginalised like the Dalits and the indigenous.

“In Kathmandu, during demonstrations, menacing forces led by convicted politicians dancing with swords to rally for a Hindu state get police protection, while Dalits asking for rights get beaten up. The government is increasingly willing to use force to quell dissent – Dalits, Madhesis, and anti-federalists have been at the receiving end of batons and bullets in recent months.”

Aug 23Channel News AsiaDozens arrested for disruptive Nepal protest

Police arrested 30 people in Kathmandu protesting against the country’s new constitution.

‘”We have arrested 30 demonstrators in Kathmandu for trying to block roads, vandalise vehicles and close shops,” police spokesman Kamal Singh Bam told AFP.

‘The protesters were from Nepal’s federation of indigenous nationalities, which called a nationwide strike against the borders of new provinces proposed in the draft constitution.’

‘The demonstrations have sparked clashes with police who have shot dead three people in Nepal’s midwest and south over the last two weeks.’

Aug. 24International Business TimesNepal Constitution Protest: At Least 7 Police Officers Killed, Dozens Arrested Amid Demonstrations

Aug. 25Hindustan TimesNepal’s constitutional politics: It’s time to drop the arrogance

“The killings come in the wake of prolonged agitation in the plains, and deepening polarisation in the Nepali society and polity. The government has, on Monday evening, decided to deploy the army to aid civilian authorities in affected districts.”

Aug. 26 — The HimalayanReconstruction Authority begins work

“Govind Raj Pokharel, who was appointed as the chief executive officer of NAR 10 days ago, visited the historical settlement of Newars, located at about a 10-minute-walk distance from Patan Durbar Square today.

“Also, it needs to set up a proper office, although it has finally found space inside Singhadurbar complex — a prefab house located in between the Ministry of Finance and former PM’s Office — to begin its work.”

Sharing this on Facebook, I had commented, “I hope the Reconstruction Authority does a better job of housing the earthquake victims than themselves!”

 

Towards the end of August, National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) loses its legal status when Parliament fails to ratify its bill

Sept 2 — ReutersFour months after quakes, Nepal fails to spend any of $4.1 billion donor money

End of August/begining of September, the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) loses its legal status. (The government doesn’t name a replacement until December 25.)

Sept. 3 — Nepali Times: Reconstruction in limbo

“Finally set up nearly four months after the 25 April earthquake, the National Reconstruction Authority has lost its legal status after Parliament, preoccupied with the constitution, failed to ratify a bill to form it by its deadline last week.”

Sept. 8 — Nepali Times: Hard to Reconstruct

“As the fate of the Authority hangs in balance, nearly 2 million people made homeless by the earthquake will have to wait longer to get support for reconstruction. Use of the $4.4 billion pledged by donors at a conference in Kathmandu two months ago is also uncertain.”

Sept. 10/23/29 — The Record: The heart of the matter.

The effects of two centuries of exploitation in the Tamang heartland are inhibiting its recovery from the earthquake;

The heart of the matter, part 2. In marginalized communities, access to power makes all the difference;

The heart of the matter, part 3. Unequal power relations and extractive development are condemning Tamang communities to poverty.

Sept. 14The New Indian ExpressThousands of Sex Slaves From India, Nepal and Bangladesh Sold to Middle East and IS Terrorists

Sept. 17 — Personal Blog Post: Think Tech Hawaii TV: Conversation with Jay.

Video of my appearance on the program to talk about the calamity.

Sept. 19 — BBC: Why is Nepal’s new constitution controversial?

 

Constitution is promulgated on Sept. 20.

Sept. 20 — Al JazeeraUnveiling Nepal’s constitution amid deadly protests

Sept. 20 — Nepali TimesPeople’s constitution

Sept. 21 — Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of India: Statement on the situation in Nepal

Sept. 21 — Thomson Reuters FoundationEXCLUSIVE-Global charities accused of “misleading” public on Nepal quake aid

“Sixteen of the world’s largest disaster relief charities have revealed to the Thomson Reuters Foundation that they are spending up to a sixth of funds designated for Nepal on their overheads rather than in disaster-hit areas, when they are using local charities to do much of the work.”

Sept. 22 — BBCWhy India is concerned about Nepal’s constitution

 

On Sept. 23, India imposes an economic embargo which lasts for about two months

Sept. 24 — The GuardianNepal earthquake funds unclaimed and unspent as winter looms for survivors, written by my mate Pete Pattisson.

“With Nepal government dragging heels over reconstruction despite availability of $4bn in donor funds, fears grow among villagers whose homes were destroyed”

Sept. 29BuzzfeedIndia Has Halted The Everyday Goods Nepal Needs To Survive.

After expressing discontent over Nepal’s new constitution, India says the supply trucks are having difficulties entering Nepal because of security threats.

Sept 30 — Center for Disaster PhilanthropyRelearning to Listen

Manisha Aryal recommends supporting genuine on-the-ground initiatives and help foster accountability and transparency.

Oct. 5 — The GuardianIn Nepal, $1bn impact of strikes over constitution ‘worse than earthquakes’, written by my mate Pete Pattisson.

Oct. 5 — Nepali TimesReconstruction in ruins.

Political wrangling has kept the Reconstruction Authority in limbo, prolonging the pain of earthquake survivors

Oct. 9 — Al JazeeraAnalysis: Blockade politics in Nepal

Oct. 12Madhesis YouthSecond-Class: The Nepal Embassy and Citizenship Inaccuracies

Oct. 14 — Cultural AnthropologyAftershocked: Reflections on the 2015 Earthquakes in Nepal.

This is a series that include 13 write-ups. Links to all of them can be found on the series page. The two articles below are part of that series.

Oct. 14 — Cultural AnthropologyTamsaling and the Toll of the Gorkha Earthquake.

David H. Holmberg and Kathryn S. March provides the historical context for why Tamang settlements suffered the most in the earthquake.

Oct. 14 — Cultural AnthropologyDigging for Dalit: Social Justice and an Inclusive Anthropology of Nepal.

Where can we find Dalits in discussions of the earthquakes? An apt metaphor would be “under the rubble,” with the muffled cries of hard-hit Nepali communities calling our attention to their social marginalization.

Oct. 14 — Catch NewsKP Sharma Oli: why Nepal’s new PM isn’t the right man for the job

 Oct. 16 — Human Rights Watch“Like We Are Not Nepali”

Protest and Police Crackdown in the Terai Region of Nepal. The report documents the deaths of protestors as well as the police.

Oct. 16 — Human Rights WatchNepal: Investigate Deaths During Terai Protests. Hold Perpetrators to Account

(Nov. 3 — Madhesi YouthNepal Public Figures Challenge Human Rights Watch.)

Oct. 19 — Time: Nepal’s Fuel Crisis Could Turn Deadly as Himalayan Nation Braces for Freezing Winter

Nov. 2 — The Daily Beast: In Nepal the Pols Play Their Game of Thrones, But Winter Is Coming

Goes into details of why the drafting of the constitution initiated after the election of the first CA in 2008 was doomed from the start.

Nov. 3 — Amnesty International: NEPAL: OPEN LETTER TO THE NEW PRIME MINISTER AND GOVERNMENT OF NEPAL: AMEND REGRESSIVE ASPECTS OF THE CONSTITUTION

Nov. 6 — The GuardianNepal warns of humanitarian crisis as India border blockade continues, written by my mate Pete Pattisson.

Nov. 6UN200 human rights recommendations to Nepal from UN Working Group on Universal Periodic Review

Nov. 7 — Kantipur Post: Spiraling out of control.

“For a country that was already reeling under the strains caused by the earthquakes, recuperating from yet another crisis so soon will prove exceedingly difficult”

The ongoing Tarai protests and the unofficial blockade imposed by India, which started with the obstruction of petroleum inflow into the country, is now having a knock-on effect on almost every sector of the economy.

Nov. 12The Kathmandu PostState of crisis.

Pramod Mishra’s op-ed on how loss of credibility of the ruling class is the biggest crisis Nepal is facing right now.

Nov. 16 — RepublicaGovt promoting black market in fuel: Industrialists

Nov. 17 — Republica: Drugs worth millions rotting at TIA customs

“Due to sheer negligence on the part of the government agencies concerned, more than two containers full of life saving medicines have been left abandoned at the airport for over six months now. The medicines were donated by aid agencies in the aftermath of the massive earthquake in April and May, which killed 9,000 people, injured over 23,000 others and displaced more than 200,000.”

Nov. 17RepublicaGovt promoting black market in fuel: Industrialists

Nov. 18 — The GuardianNepal border blockade ‘threatens the future of the country itself’, says UN, written by my mate Pete Pattisson.

Nov. 18 — Republica: ‘Finance Ministry agrees to pay duty of essential medicines’

“The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has agreed to pay customs duty of the essential medicines languishing at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) for over six months.

Two containers of vital medicines, donated by several aid agencies in the aftermath of the massive earthquakes of April and May, have remained at the TIA due the negligence of the concerned authorities.”

Nov. 20BuzzfeedNepal’s Hospitals Are Running Out Of Medicine As Blockade Shows No Sign Of Ending.

More than 450 cargo trucks carrying medical supplies have been halted at the border for months, officials say.

Nov. 26 — The Kathmandu Post (Editorial): State of utter failure

“In the six weeks since coming into power, the new government has failed to make much headway in tackling the multiple crises facing the country.”

Nov. 26 — Wall Streeet JournalThe Two-Month Blockade of Nepal Explained

Nov. 29 — The HimalayanBillions of rupees embezzled in post-quake relief drive, concludes CIAA

Nov. 28 — 2k factories fall silent in industrial heartland.

“Nearly 2,000 factories in the country’s industrial heartland, the Bara-Parsa Industrial Corridor, have been shut down due to lack of raw materials as shipments from India have stopped due to the Tarai unrest.”

Nov. 30UNICEF Press ReleaseNepal: Serious shortage of essential supplies threatens millions of children this winter – UNICEF.

It starts off with, “More than 3 million children under the age of 5 in Nepal are at risk of death or disease during the harsh winter months due to a severe shortage of fuel, food, medicines and vaccines[.]”

Dec. 3 — Personal Blog Post: Cold Front.

About the effect of the earthquake on children I work with in Thangpalkot and what the imminent winter for them and other victims.

Dec. 3The Kathmandu PostNo Man’s Land.

That our state cares for no one, Madhesis and Pahadis alike, lies in its response to the April Earthquake.

‘The Tarai is on fire because Madhesis feel neglected by the centre. Although the comparison may not be wholly accurate, our state has been no less uncaring of the Pahadi population, and proof of that has been in its response to the April Earthquake.’

Dec. 6 — The Kathmandu Post: 6k tonnes of relief rice stuck in NFC godowns

Rice for Nepal earthquake relief has been sitting for 8 months and going bad. Six million kilograms of rice from Bangladesh are waiting for the bidding process to finish. Bureaucracy is its own blockade.

Dec. 14 — RepublicaPolice nab officials over fuel black market, meter tampering

Dec. 19 — Madhesi Youth11-Point Demands of United Democratic Madhesi Front (In Nepali & English)

Dec. 20 — The Kathmandu Post: Quake victims facing hard time: Absence of VDC secys paralysing local govt

“With less than a quarter of around 3,200 Village Development Committee (VDC) secretaries providing services from their designated duty stations, local governance across the country has been affected, with service seekers facing a hard time.”

 

Dec. 25, Sushil Gyawali named the new CEO of the NRA.

Dec. 25 — Setopatiपुनर्निर्माण प्राधिकरणको सीईओमा ज्ञवाली नियुक्त (Gyawali named CEO of National Construction Authority)

This is the second CEO.

Nepali Times: Reconstruction authority gets CEO

The HimalayanGovt appoints Sushil Gyawali CEO of Reconstruction Authority

Dec. 26 — Republica: Five quake survivors in Dolakha die of cold

Dec. 26 — The Kathmandu PostSushil Gyawali named NRA chief

Dec. 30 — The Kathmandu Post: Relief items vanish from warehouse

“A DDMC officer said most of the pressure cookers and other articles that were meant for distribution to the earthquake victims are missing.”

“The World Food Programme (WFP) on Tuesday disposed 6.7 metric tonnes of damaged food stuffs which were stored in the warehouse at Deurali VDC-5 in Gorkha district.

“The food stuffs, including rice, pulses and biscuits, which have started rotting were buried in a pit using an excavator.”

(Kantipur: कर्मचारी, सेना र प्रहरीले रक्सी र कुखुरासँग साटे राहत)

 

2016

Jan 8RepublicaReconstruction Authority to launch 3-month mega campaign

Jan. 10 — Republica: Reconstruction to begin only after mid-April

Jan. 12 — Personal Blog Post: Queueing Up in Kathmandu Never Worked (So) Well…Never

 

On January 16, inaugural event kicking off the reconstruction campaign takes place after more than eight months since the quake.

Jan. 17Republica: Nat’l Reconstruction Mega Campaign launched.

Jan. 17The HimalayanReconstruction mega campaign kicks off

Jan. 22 — The HimalayanBlack market flourishes as state mechanism ceases to function

Jan. 29 — Personal Blog Post: Nepal Earthquake: Himalayan Megaquake Video.

The PBS NOVA video documentary of the earthquake.

Feb. 3 — The Guardian: Running on empty: Nepal’s fuel smugglers defy border blockades, written by my mate Pete Pattisson.

Feb. 11 — The GuardianWater crisis spells cold comfort for Nepal earthquake survivors, written by my mate Pete Pattisson.

“It would have been better if I had died in the earthquake,” says Maiya Giri, 30, a mother of three. “I hope another one comes and kills me so I won’t have to face these problems.”

Feb. 19 — The RecordNepal’s petrol black market: super citizens and an information blackout.

In addition to widespread smuggling, there were significant official imports of petrol during the blockade, but officials aren’t saying where it went.

Feb 22The HimalayanNepal PM delivers lecture in Delhi

“He reiterated that the Constitution making process in Nepal was inclusive and the historic charter was progressive without any kind of discrimination.”

March 1Indian ExpressBudget 2016: Days after Oli visit, 40% cut in aid to Nepal

In the Union Budget presented Monday, the Centre allocated Rs 300 crore for aid to Nepal for 2016-17, a massive decline from last year’s allocation of Rs 420 crore.

‘“The issue in Nepal is that of absorption capacity, and they have been quite poor in utilising the aid being given to them…Look at the earthquake reconstruction programme…they have just set up the reconstruction authority in Nepal. The aid last year could not be utilised, which led to revision of budget estimates,” an official said.’

(Customs Today reports just the opposite headlining India increases grant aid to Nepal by 40% for 2015-16!)

March 8 — The Kathmandu Post: Homes for earthquake victims unlikely before monsoon: NRA

March 16 — Remarks by Hon. Commissioner of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of Nepal, Ms. Mohna Ansari, on the occasion of 31st Session of Human Rights Council in regard to 2 nd cycle of Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Nepal as on 16th March 2016, Geneva.

March 17The Kathmandu PostNepal govt should honour its commitment to OHCHR: NHRC

“The National Human Rights Commission has reiterated its position on rights situation and Nepal government’s obligation to protect and promote human rights as committed to the UN Human Rights Council.

“Speaking at the 31st Session of Human Rights Council in Geneva on Wednesday, NHRC Spokesperson Mohna Ansari said that Nepal government should investigate into excessive use of security forces to suppress the Madhes unrest.”

March 20 — Republica: CEO Gyewali under CIAA scrutiny

March 21 — The Economic Times: Nepal quake reconstruction authority chief faces graft probe

March 28KantipurImplementation of the Constitution: Practices and Challenges.

A damning article, in Nepali, about how the current government has failed in the implementation of the constitution. This version, however, is missing the table. You can find the table in this one, which is not as easy to read as the former.

March 29 — StopatiI’m not satisfied with pace of reconstruction works: PM Oli

He apparently said, “I’m not satisfied with the pace of entire reconstruction works. May be I am to blame for this but the delay in the reconstruction campaign in the pretext of other obstacles and impediments would not be tolerated.”

“He also raised questions about the collection of only Rs 1.8 million so far for the ‘I Will Construct My Dharahara’ campaign with the contribution made by the ministers and some other people, calling for support from the mechanism and the public in the campaign.”

March 30 — Southeast.com.auIt’s official now, reconstruction in Nepal “Won’t be done in decades at this speed”

March 30 — European Council Council of the European UnionEU-India summit: joint statement, agenda for action and joint declarations

March 31The HimalayanNepal takes exception to EU-India joint statement over new constitution, urges all to respect Nepalis’ sovereignty

March 31Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of NepalPress Release on Reference to Nepal made in the EU-India Joint Statement.

The government of Nepal takes issue with the following phrase: “a lasting and inclusive constitutional settlement in Nepal that will address the remaining Constitutional issues in a time bound manner, and promote political stability and economic growth[.]”

April 3The GuardianChild survivors of Nepal earthquake ‘being sold’ in the UK

Theresa May urges police investigation after the Sun reports that Nepalese and Indian children are being sold to British families as domestic slaves.

April 4 — International Crisis GroupNepal’s Divisive New Constitution: An Existential Crisis.

Click here for the executive summary.

April 6The HimalayanAnsari defends her statement at UPR session

April 7The Kathmandu PostPM’s Office breaches constitutional jurisdiction: THRD Alliance

“On April 3, 2016, PM Oli had summoned NHRC Chair Anup Raj Sharma, Commissioner Mohna Ansari and other members and sought clarification about Ansari’s statement during the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) session of Nepal in Geneva in March.”

April 10The RecordLose the yam.

Nationalist elite would do well to reflect on the true meaning of sovereignty.

“A nation that doesn’t control its economic, monetary or labor policy, that outsources these vital tools to a neighboring state, is not independent. It is yoked to a democratic reality next door where politicians must live and die by their economic decisions, in marked contrast to their Nepali counterparts. Indian governments that don’t create jobs and prosperity don’t get re-elected.”

(Nepali translation of the article: तरुल बन्न छोड)

April 10Nepali TimesPM gave us a lecture: NHRC.

“Prime Minister KP Oli’s spat last week with senior functionaries of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has sent alarm bells ringing about the interference by the executive into an independent body responsible for upholding post-conflict transitional justice.”

 

Early April NRA decides to allow Non-governmental Organizations to help families rebuild their homes.

April 11The Kathmandu Post: NRA to allow NGOs in rebuilding homes

Extra rules for mobilisation via one door 3-side deal for reconstruction

April 12The Kathmandu PostHuman wrongs.

The national human rights institution is being criticised for raising the issues of human rights violations

April 12The Kathmandu PostIrregularities at govt agencies jump to 40pc of budget

April 12The Kathmandu PostGovt starts releasing aid to rebuild homes

641 individuals in Dolakha receive Rs 50,000 each as first installment

April [no date]US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor: NEPAL 2015 HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT

A damning report. Click here for the executive summary.

(The Himalayan report on this on April 14: US report presents bleak picture of Nepal human rights)

April 14The TimeJames Nachtwey: A Year After the Devastating Earthquake

“It was surprising to see just how little had been done over the course of the year.”

April 14Human Rights WatchNepal: End Intimidation of Human Rights Commission.

Interference by Prime Minister Deliberate Attempt to Stifle Independence

April 17Al JazeeraA second disaster awaits Nepal’s heritage

Kathmandu’s heritage sites may soon be placed on the UNESCO danger list due to mishandled post-earthquake restoration.

April 21The Kathmandu PostA journey of a thousand miles

Deepak Thapa provides a neat summary of the Government’s lack of time, proper and adequate response to the earthquake victims. The members of the difference executive bodies associated with NRA are mostly hill high caste hindu men, not a single one a Tamang, though as a Jat (ethnicity) they have suffered the most, and not a single one a women though as a gender, they suffered more.

April 22Nepali Times: Disastrous Coverage.

April 22Mail OnlineNepal quake in numbers, one year later

April 23BuzzfeedNews: The Aftermath

One year after Nepal was devastated by an earthquake that killed nearly 9,000 people and left a million more homeless, the situation on the ground is bleaker than ever. Anup Kaphle returned home to find a country that has been failed by its government — and ignored by the world.

April 23The Kathmandu PostThe great divide

Why were discussions about relief and rebuilding being conducted in a language that was so removed from lived experience of most affected people? What kinds of solutions will emerge from a discussion that excludes its main subject from starting point?

April 24Yahoo NewsNepal’s quake-hit ghost village begins fragile recovery

April 24The Kathmandu PostThe year that was

My friend Subina asks, “What momentous happening would it take for Nepal to change?”

And in closing she asks, “Whose death would matter?”

I would go one further than Subina and say, “Does death matter?!”

Because, based on the ride the people of Nepal have been taken for since the earthquake by the two Prime Ministers, Sushil Koirala and KP Oli, their governments and leaders like them, as far as I can tell, to them death does NOT seem to matter.

What’s morality to such people?! 

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